The flu this year has turned out to be the worst after the swine flu epidemic in 2009. However, it’s not a sign that you have to damn yourself in your bed all season long. Flu symptoms can be annoying. The feeling of constant illness is irritating, and as much as we try to avoid it, the flu is annoying to say the least.
Fortunately, there are ways to avoid seasonal flu and the common cold if you pay attention. But before jumping to those treatments and remedies, it’s important to understand the difference between the common cold and the seasonal flu.
The duration and symptoms of both conditions make them different. Cold is relatively shorter with mild symptoms. Usually it is associated with a plethora of other viruses. It also lasts for a week and is accompanied by sneezing, sore throat, cough, mucus production and nasal congestion.
Flu stems from a virus we know as influenza, which is further divided into categories A, B and C. Symptoms of the flu are also different from those of the common cold. You may experience fatigue, body aches, fever, respiratory symptoms, and headache.
But regardless of the condition, the only way we think we can avoid getting sick is to reach for our medicine box. However, experts suggest that before you can even do that, taking preventative measures can help. These include strengthening our immune system and taking care of ourselves to fight off the virus.
And this is where these five great tips to cure seasonal flu come in!
Drink plenty of fluids
Sweating caused by a fever and frequent blowing your nose can dry out your system. Such factors can aggravate your flu condition and cause further symptoms such as sore throat and headache.
This calls for consuming more fluids than you normally do. Other than your regular water, you can drink diluted sports drinks, decaffeinated tea, electrolyte solutions, and even eat soups and fruits with more water, such as cucumber, watermelon, tomato, and pineapple.
Listen to your body
With symptoms like fatigue, fever, and headache, your body is likely asking for more rest. Listen to it and stay home. Unfortunately, the flu is a condition that is usually taken lightly, with people going about their daily routine.
It is important to accept that you are sick and that the flu is highly contagious. Take your time and let your body heal. Sleep and get enough rest so that your body can completely clear the virus.
Treat pain, cough and fever
Body aches, cough and fever are the most common symptoms of seasonal flu. To fight the virus, your body increases natural heat level.
It is essential to take care of these additional conditions to ensure that your flu gets better in time. You may consider taking over-the-counter medications such as naproxen, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen. Seek medical help and contact your primary care physician through a trusted telemedicine platform to decide on the best OTC medication.
However, avoid cold baths in such cases.
Sinus and nasal congestion are perhaps the most annoying side effects of the flu. Steam is the best home remedy that can help you with that. Using steam to loosen mucus can help relieve nasal congestion. It also overcomes a dry throat.
Take a warm bath to help relieve congestion. Use water as hot as you can comfortably tolerate it. This will fill the bathroom with steam when the door is closed. However, this may not suit everyone. If you feel dizzy or faint in a steamy environment, stop immediately.
Make sure you dry your body and hair well after you shower. Leaving your body or hair damp can confuse your body’s natural heat, which isn’t ideal for seasonal flu.
You can even put the hot water in a pan and put your face close to it. Place a towel around your neck and head and cover the pan to absorb as much steam as possible for best results.
Keep track of your essential nutrients
This is important when it comes to vitamin D intake. One estimate shows that more than 40% of Americans are vitamin D deficient. The number increases in winter due to less sunlight. This is a major reason why we often get sick in winter and seasonal flu becomes inevitable. If you want to avoid the flu and other common ailments, make sure your body is getting enough nutrients.
Vitamin D is crucial for our immune function. Without enough of this essential nutrient in our bodies, we become susceptible to various infections, including the flu. It is ideal if you have your vitamin D levels checked to begin your supplements. You can also include healthy and rich foods in your diet such as tuna, mackerel and salmon – a great source of vitamin D.
Additional tips to protect yourself from seasonal flu
- Avoid interacting or contacting infected people
- Wash your hands regularly
- Avoid touching contaminated things
- Stay hydrated
- Eat balanced food
- Get plenty of exercise to boost your immune system
Last but not least, time is the best cure for seasonal flu. Combine these natural remedies with prescription medications if the condition worsens. Give your body time and get enough rest to fight off the invaders.
Protect yourself and take care of your immune system, and it will fight the seasonal flu and its symptoms.